OneNote converter

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Klaas Vaak 5 days, 18 hours ago.

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    I am very interested in moving away from OneNote in the longer term and have started to seriously consider potential replacements. CherryTree is frequently recommended and looks like it is one of the potentially most “seamless” options.

    I have started using CherryTree and it works very nicely – thank you to the developers and particularly Giuseppe!

    I know that there is interest from others in converting from OneNote to CherryTree, as expressed here (for example):

    I am planning to try to write a converter or library of some type to help out.

    I have a reasonable amount of experience with the OneNote API and OneNote XML and would simply like to start a dialogue with the CherryTree developers and users to help shape my efforts.

    I would appreciate any suggestions people have.

    I am putting this out here without having carried out much research yet into the workings of CherryTree itself or significant experience (yet) in playing with other options for moving content over (such as exporting to some other format from OneNote and then importing into CherryTree). If people have found such options acceptable already, I could easily write automation for such things on the OneNote side. OTOH, I’m personally thinking I might like to essentially create a library that CherryTree could leverage that might use OneNote format “Notebooks” directly… obviously there are pros and cons to any approach.

    So, please, I appreciate any and all feedback, pointers, etc.

    Thanks very much!


    Klaas Vaak

    Jeremy, that would be great if you could help. I started using CT a year ago for one my main note-taking activities, which I started from scratch with CT. I have not looked back. CT is very good.

    Nevertheless, I am still using OneNote for some of my notetaking because I started in 1N and cannot transfer that easily to CT, so for now I continue in 1N :-(( So I for one would certainly welcome a conversion tool.

    You may have read that over the past few months the Giuseppe has been busy with the growing family, and has been very busy porting CT coding over from GTK+ to Python, or vice versa – not sure if I describe it well. Anyway, I am sure he would welcome your help.

    In the link you provided above there is a comment by Dirtcooker who has tried out a couple of copy/paste processes: could you e.g. use his 2nd option to build on for a smooth, complete conversion of 1N to CT notes?



    Hi Klaas,

    Thanks for the response.

    Thanks also for commenting on Giuseppe’s busyness. I wasn’t aware of that. Only so many minutes in the day and haven’t really had a chance to delve into the archives here.

    Thanks also for pointing out Dirtcooker’s comment. I may give his methods a try – at least in part, they might inform efforts to provide a better solution if nothing else. Have you tried those methods? Do you encounter the same issues – thus making it difficult to leave OneNote entirely?

    When I get a chance (likely this weekend), I will spend some hours looking at CherryTree’s structure more generally and trying to come up with some ideas of my own as to how to best proceed. But, I still welcome any comments from more experienced users and especially anyone with software development/source code experience with CherryTree.



    Klaas Vaak

    Hey Jeremy, 1st off I am not a techie, so I have not experimented. I looked on internet and was surprised to find a number of sites that talk about the conversion, or something similar.

    My situation with 1N is that I have used tables, and even tables within tables, extensively. I really regret this because it probably will probably make it difficult to convert my notes. I have notes that I would like to transfer to CT, but don’t have the time to copy/paste them. And I have certain types notes that I would like to convert to Markdown because that way I will never have compatibility issues. Tip: if you are interested in Markdown, have a look at Typora – compared to any other Markdown programs out there Typora blows them out of the water, and actually makes writing fun & attractive !!

    Anyway, my 1N situation is of no interest to people.

    Getting back to 1N –> CT conversion, here is a webpage that describes a conversion process using both Word and Pandoc. I saved the webpage for future reference but have not experimented, it looks like quite an interesting process; automation would be needed. Have a look, and perhaps in combination with the other one or whatever you figure out, might present a way to get to a workable conversion process. See the comment immediately below the question.


    Klaas Vaak

    Jeremy, I sincerely apologise for my earlier reply – I was plain stupid … ahem, I got my knickers in a twist :-((

    The link I sent you is about converting 1N to Markdown, so not relevant to the subject here. It is not possible to delete that comment so it is there for all to see & laugh at my idiocy. Sorry.



    Ha, don’t worry!

    Sorry I didn’t respond sooner. Much like with everyone, life has a way of getting out from under you sometimes.

    I now have some flexibility and free time finally with the wrapping up of unanticipated pressure in other projects.

    I will begin research and implementation(s) – experimenting with methods of moving information with a goal of having something anyone could use by the end of this year.

    I’ll check in on the forums from time-to-time as I proceed to keep up with other topics and ask questions.

    Thanks and have a great day/week/month etc.!


    Klaas Vaak

    @jeremyp: no problem. I look forward to what you can put together. Talk to sometime between now 7 the end of the year.

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